Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Most Likely to Succeed is my first book. My full-time job is an English teacher in a mid-Missouri high school. I am originally from Mountain Home, Arkansas–a great place to live and to visit. However, I moved to Missouri for college, fell in love, and wound up staying. My heart will always be in the South, though. I have two young boys, ages 6 and 1. My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have a small farm that currently includes cows and dogs, but has included pigs, goats, and rabbits in the past. I’m glad the goat days are behind us.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My book is called Most Likely to Succeed. It is fictional but inspired by different things that have happened to me over the years–some for the better and some for the worse. There’ s a scene where a grandma’s skirt blows up around her shoulders right in front of the church building, showing off her underwear and a good portion of her bottom. Unfortunately this happened to me in the courtyard of the high school where I teach. Luckily, it was during class time, and no one has ever told me that they saw my bottom, so I’m going to keep telling myself that it never happened.
Otherwise, the older ladies are inspired by my grandmothers–they are both passed now, but were tough and funny and caring women. Their influences can never be separated from my fiction or my life.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I do all my writing after my children have fallen asleep at night. Sometimes this means I stay up until the wee hours of the morning writing. Sometimes this means I fall asleep with an idea in my head that never makes it onto the page.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Like many others, I love Jane Austen. I also love Kristan Higgins. Frank McCourt is another favorite.
What are you working on now?
I am working on the second book in the Big Springs series. I’m hoping to have it released in July of 2018.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I love Facebook. I use my page quite a lot.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep going! It’s a marathon to finish. Finish the book and then see what comes of it.
If traditional publishing doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to self-publish!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corintians 16:14
What are you reading now?
I just finished Kristan Higgins’ book On Second Thought. I’m reading Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars right now. I try to mix it up with a little non-fiction–at least one per year. I’m currently teaching The Great Gatsby and The Old Man and the Sea. I read those almost every year.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m still writing. I really hope to release another book in July of 2018.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I would take the Bible, Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice from Jane Austen, and maybe a survival guide! I’d be a mess in that kind of scenario!
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